Monday, October 03, 2005

Two admissions

While on the subject of cover art, I should mention one of my least favorite book covers, that of Catcher in the Rye. Just white and the title? Can't you work a little harder to close the sale? I disliked it so much that I never read the book. Okay, that's not why I didn't read the book, but it didn't help. Back in the high school days, I had the juvenile habit of avoiding books and bands that everyone else liked. So no Led Zeppelin or Grateful Dead for me until college. And no Catcher in the Rye ever. I mean can you really get into a book about preteen alienation when you are in your 30s?

My other failed read is A Prayer For Owen Meany, which is well loved by so many. When I told Steve I put it down, he told me "you need to learn how to FEEL." Whatever. It may have been my mood at the time, but in any case the book continues to sit on a bookshelf by the dinner table where it can reproach me at each meal.


mattmlpdx said...

Man, you should totally read Catcher now. I didn't read it until 2 years ago, and I loved it. In high scholl I couldn't get into it at all. I can even loan you my version with a red cover with YELLOW text. Will that help?

It really is a great read and it will take you like a day to read it.

jo said...

Dude, read Catcher. And if you can find a really old copy, the cover art is different. The original copies were not that plain one you're talking about. But, I sortof like that plain cover art in the context of his other 3 books, which all share the same design. They look cool all lined up on the shelf, side by side:
Catcher in The Rye
Raise High the Roofbeam Carpenters
Franny and Zoey
Nine Stories.

But I stand behind your dismissal of Owen Meaney. I read well over half of that book (years ago) and just could not finish it becasue OWEN KEPT YELLING AND SPEAKING IN CAPS THE ENTIRE TIME AND IT DROVE ME FUCKING CRAZY AND I WANTED TO KICK HIS LITTLE ASS!!! And I really like John Irving, too.

So, maybe you'll hate Catcher in the Rye and want to kick ol' Holden's ass, on account of him being a goddammed phony and all. But at least give it a try. It truly is one of the best, ever.

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge fan of both Catcher (read it when I was 14 and loved it ever since) and Owen Meaney (one of my very favorites) so you really should give them a try. But it brings up that interesting conundrum about why some books can be a person's favorite while leaving someone else totally cold when both people tend to have similar taste in books generally.

I find both books to be hilarious, poignant, intelligent and well written which pretty much does it for me.